The Indian Air Force (IAF) intends to equip its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas with a long-range Meteor-class missile system with an aim to improve the capability of the fighter jet.
Indigenously developed and built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the single seat, multi-role LCA Tejas is expected to gain an advanced capability with the missile integration. This will enable the jet to easily deal with its adversaries, reported India Today.
In a statement, the Indian Government sources were quoted by India Today as saying: “The request for proposal has asked the aircraft to be equipped with a long-range beyond visual range missile of the class of Meteor, which can take out enemy aircraft in the range of more than 100m.
“This would help the LCA get an edge over the aircraft with adversaries.”
The Meteor-class missiles are expected to equip a total of 83 units of the LCA Tejas Mark 1A variant under the order placed by the IAF with public sector unit HAL.
With the integration of the new longer-range missiles, IAF’s Mark 1A Tejas fighter jets are expected to be capable of defeating the enemy aircraft even without being within their striking ranges.
A source was quoted by India Today as saying: “One good thing about the Meteor is that it has not yet been integrated with any American-origin aircraft and the Pakistani F-16s or the Chinese-origin JF-17s can’t get them in the times to come as well.”
Developed by European missile manufacturer MBDA, the Meteor is an active radar-guided beyond visual air-to-air missile that features a speed greater than 4mach and an enhanced striking capability of more than 100km, reported Financial Express.
The 3.65m-long missile, which is equipped with kinematics features, is capable of striking a wide range of targets simultaneously and in all weather conditions.